Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Part to Play by Jennifer L. Fry Tour and Giveaway

A Part to Play
by Jennifer L. Fry



When fifteen-year-old actress Lucy Carter loses her older sister in a car accident, her mother shuts down and her father can’t hold the family together. Their only choice is to ship Lucy off to the Edmond School for Performing Arts. But boarding school is no cure for Lucy’s grief. With failing grades, wooden stage performances, and curfew violations, Lucy is threatened with expulsion. For the once talented Lucy, it feels as though she has nowhere to turn.

One night, Lucy hears mysterious music drifting through the school’s old heating system. The music leads her to a troubled but passionate songwriter whose brilliance gives her the strength to perform like never before. Yet their intense relationship puts Lucy in a precarious position: if she follows her muse, will she lose herself? And if she breaks it off, can she stand on her own again?

He reached for her, pulling her close. His scent was similar to last night, still slightly metallic, but also dusty. Lucy wrapped her arms around his neck. When he let go, she felt cold, with a strange emptiness that permeated every part of her body.

"Come here, I want you to hear something I started working on earlier." He reached for his guitar and patted the stool.

Chris looked natural with a guitar across his body. He held it like it was an extension of himself. Lucy sat on the stool, admiring his slightly rounded face and dark eyes, his hair falling forward as he looked down at the strings. She could think of nothing else. That was, until he started playing, then she lost herself in the chords and melody and everything in front of her went out of focus.

The song had a medium rhythm that she tapped her foot along with. Then he started singing, his voice caressing the notes with a rich, deep tone, and she was completely gone into another world where beautiful sounds filled every sense. Chris ended with a strong flourish, the last chord ringing for a while in the otherwise silent room.

"What do you think?" he asked. Lucy blinked, trying to focus her eyes. She didn't reply right away, and Chris wavered. "Well, I mean, it still needs work, but..."

She put a hand on his arm. "I loved it." She said it firmly, leaving no room for debate or misunderstanding.


Author Interview:

Coming up with the story idea for A PART TO PLAY

In planning A PART TO PLAY, I started with the emotional journey I wanted my main character to experience. I knew immediately I wanted to write a young adult story, and I wanted my story to have a strong message – that is, the importance of believing in oneself. Then, to develop my plot, I thought of my most favorite stories of all time from movies, plays, and books. One of these happens to be The Phantom of the Opera. I didn't want my book to be a retelling of that classic story, but rather I wanted it to draw inspiration from what I considered the most captivating parts. I loved the mystery and the powerful role that music played in the story; I also found the dark side of the Phantom intriguing.

Once I had that basic premise, I needed something at the beginning of the story to make my character lose all self belief, which in this case happens with the death of her beloved sister and the subsequent breakdown of her family. As a writer, I explore big questions that I personally have about life. In A PART TO PLAY, I explore the death of a child in a tight-knit family. As I consider becoming a parent myself, I wonder how I could survive losing my child – it seems like one of the worst possible things that could happen in life. Lucy, the main character of my story, watches as her parents are consumed by grief, and she naturally begins to doubt her worth.

By the time she arrives at the Edmond School for Performing Arts, where our story begins, Lucy doesn't know what to think anymore. She hears music coming from underground, and eventually meets the musician who has helped her find something to focus on besides her grief. I explored the idea of both main characters in my story, Lucy and the musician, having the same flaw – how that brings them together, and how it drives them apart. It was important to me to show Lucy's gradual shift. I wanted the reader to come along on Lucy's journey, to feel what it is to be at the bottom and to experience with her the joy of first love and finally finding a way to cope with the loss of her family.

In later revisions, I felt that Lucy must confront her parents. It was part of the process for her to recover her sense of self. Then my story became something new. It wasn't just about loss, romance, and finding your own way; it was also about recognizing parents as fallible people who we can no more rely on for our self-worth than anyone else in life. Ultimately, no matter the parallels between my novel and the Phantom of the Opera, it  is truly about the strength of a young girl who manages to carry on even though everyone around her seems to have given up.   

 AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Jennifer L. Fry is a writer, artist, and teacher in Marin County, California, where she lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable dogs, and orange tabby cat. Though she has been writing since she was young, A PART TO PLAY is her first novel.




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Jennifer will award 2 of each 8x10 autographed print of an original illustration of one of her characters to randomly drawn commenters on the tour, and a grand prize of an 11x17 autographed set of all three main characters in the book. (US/Canada only) 


  1. The book is very unique and had a lot of emotion in the words. I absolutly loved it:)